HOA Fees 101: What They Cover, What They Don't, and Why They Matter

HOA Fees 101: What They Cover, What They Don't, and Why They Matter

One of the main reasons you would want to live in a community rather than an independent home is because you get to take advantage of HOAs, that is, Homeowner's Associations (HOA).

They come with many benefits but also come along with HOA fees. This is particularly true in planned developments, condominiums, and certain neighborhoods. These fees are vital in maintaining the community and ensuring that common areas and amenities are well-maintained.

In this article, we'll explore HOA fees, what they cover, what they don't, and why they matter to homeowners.

What Do HOA Fees Cover?

The primary purpose of HOA fees is to maintain common areas within the community. This can include landscaping, sidewalks, parks, pools, fitness centers, and more. The goal is to ensure that these areas remain in good condition and are safe and enjoyable for all residents.

But there are other reasons why you pay HOA fees as well, like:

Amenity Upkeep

If your community has amenities like a clubhouse, tennis courts, or a playground, HOA fees get used for maintenance. This includes repairs, cleaning, and sometimes upgrades to these facilities.

Exterior Maintenance

In some HOA communities, the fees may cover exterior maintenance of individual homes or condominiums. This can include roofing, siding, and painting. However, this varies by community, so checking your HOA's specific rules and regulations is essential.


HOA fees may cover certain utilities, such as water, sewage, or trash removal. This depends on the community's setup and agreements.


The HOA typically carries insurance policies to protect common areas and structures. HOA fees contribute to these insurance premiums.

Reserve Fund

A portion of the HOA fees often go into a reserve fund. This fund is set aside for significant repairs or unexpected expenses, such as replacing a roof or repairing a damaged swimming pool.

What HOA Fees Don't Cover

HOA fees aren't all-encompassing, as you might imagine. There are some things they don't cover. These include:

Personal Utilities

While some communities include utilities in the HOA fees, others do not. Homeowners are typically responsible for their electricity, gas, cable, and internet bills. Also, you would have to pay for homeowners insurance yourself.

Home Interior Maintenance

HOA fees typically do not cover maintenance or repairs inside individual homes. This includes plumbing issues, electrical problems, or appliance repairs, which are the responsibility of homeowners.

Property Taxes

HOA fees are separate from property taxes. Homeowners are responsible for paying property taxes to their local government.

Why HOA Fees Matter

These fees are essential for maintaining the overall quality and appearance of the HOA community. Well-maintained common areas and amenities enhance residents' quality of life and contribute to the community's appeal. They also enhance your home resale values and protect property values.

Dispute resolution and rule enforcement are two other major reasons why HOA fees matter. Finally, the reserve fund that the HOA maintains can be crucial in times of unexpected expenses, such as storm damage or structural issues.

HOA Fees Are a Boon Leading to Better Communities

Yes, HOA fees can be an added expense to your monthly household budget. But it's well worth it.

Are you part of an HOA board in Boston, Massachusetts that needs help with management? PMI Bay State offers full-service association management services. Set up a consultation to learn more.